Instructions for life; How to relate with one another in Christ.
Instructions are good for life. Whatsoever or whosoever does not live according to instructions may never succeed at anything in life. All that we seek to be become in life is tied to how much we pay attention to the instructions of the Lord. Like we said aforetime, the Father seeks them that will fulfill His Will, therefore, in fulfilling that will, He hands us instructions which are guides to fulfilling this will. Anyone who steps out of the instruction of the Father may not fulfill the Will of the Father.
Instructions are savers of lives. Without instructions, we can move on the verge of death and destruction. Pro 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. This means that anyone who does not give heed to instructions will lose his life. Just like the case of driving a car, no matter how much skill you’ve acquired in driving, you need to follow all the driving and driver’s instructions. Disobedience may likely lead to death.
Therefore, let’s consider some instructions for life as to how to relate with one another. Our life revolve around relationships in different capacity, hence, we need to learn how to relate with one another. Apostle Paul gives us some vital instructions in Roman 12:9-21, let’s consider them;
1. Let love be without dissimulation: This means let us not love in pretence. Show love to everyone without doing eye service. Love all equally without having preference. Let nothing define your love, but let it be to all with an open mind and a pure heart.
2. Abhor that which is evil: Hate that which is evil. Don’t love to do evil. Detest evil completely.
3. Cleave to that which is good: Hold on to that which is good. If you notice that something is good, keep it up by endeavoring to maintain good works. Let your life become inseparable with doing good.
4. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love: Don’t be unnecessarily hostile to yourselves. Be kind to one another. And also, in showing kindness to ourselves, we must always do it with the mind of brothers showing ourselves love.
5. In honour preferring one another: rather than see yourself as better than others, always esteem others before you. Make sure others are seen as more important than you see yourself. Don’t always see yourself as the best, but let others be the best because you honoured them as the best.
6. Not slothful in business: Don’t be lazy at work. Don’t be a weakling. Be diligent at work. Always remember that whatsoever your hand finds to do, you must do it as unto the Lord. Therefore, as you are required to seek the Lord diligently, also be diligent at what you do for a living.
7. Fervent in spirit: as much as you take your work seriously, also, don’t be lazy in the Spirit. Be diligent as ever. Don’t let your involvement with other things in life make you become lazy Spiritually. Be zealous in the Spirit.
8. Serving the Lord: For as much as you are diligent in your work, and zealous in the Spirit, it must be geared at serving the Lord. We must endeavor to serve the Lord in all capacities such that our responsibility to our work will not affect our service unto the Lord and our fervency in the Spirit will not lure us away from serving the Lord in meekness and humility.
9. Rejoicing in hope: This must be our watchword, that Christ in us is the Hope of glory. We must therefore rejoice in the Hope of Christ. As we rejoice in this hope, we will be strengthened in faith. Like Abraham who hoped even when all hope seem lost, we must be resolute at holding on to our hope, which is Christ and much so, rejoice in Hope.
10. Patient in tribulation: as a follower of Christ, we will likely face a lot of tribulations, we are enjoined to be patient. We will face lots of trying times, we must be patient. To be patient means to be relaxed, not be soon moved away from Christ because of the challenges we face. Patience also relates to internal peace of God such as Jesus displayed in the storm.
11. Continuing instant in prayer: As we rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, we must also continue in prayers. Let no circumstance take you away from prayer. Prayer is the key to a successful Christian life. People who don’t pray eventually becomes prey in the hand of the devil. Therefore, pray always and without ceasing.
12. Distributing to the necessity of saints: Whatever we own or possess does not belong to us alone. Let us learn to give to people around us, especially the people of God. Let us learn to distribute what we have such that no one is richer than the other. To seek to be richer than the other is selfishness. Always learn to redistribute your wealth. That was what Jesus wanted to teach the young rich ruler who has acquired so much of earthly possessions, sell all you have and give to the poor.
13. Given to hospitality: Many of us do not know how to be good to strangers and to ourselves. We need to learn to be hospitable one to another. We need to show care to ourselves. Be willing to do the dirty job for your brethren or to even strangers. Like Abraham our father who entertained the three angels of the Lord, we must also without preference show hospitable characters to all we meet. It is more than just giving; it is showing care such that the person feels so comforted and relaxed. It takes humility to do this. Jesus showed that in washing the feet of His disciples. Do the dirty work for your brethren without complain.
14. Bless them which persecute you: this is a part many of us have not learnt to do. As much as we want to follow Christ and be like Christ, we must bless them who persecute us. What must flow from our mouth is blessing and not cursing to them that persecute us.
15. Bless, and curse not: What must always come out of our mouth is blessing. We must learn to bless everyone around us whether or not they are our friends. We must not curse with our mouth. Out of the same source cannot flow bitterness and sweetness, hence, curse and blessing cannot flow from the same source. Let our tongue be the blessed tongue always.
16. Rejoice with them that do rejoice: Whenever we see people rejoicing, let us rejoice with them for in so doing, our joy will be full. Don’t be sad over other people’s success. Always show a heart that is happy for the success of others. Many people lag behind in life just because they are always unhappy about other people’s triumph in life, hence, they never succeed at anything simply because their heart is always full of sorrow. Rejoice always.
17. And weep with them that weep: it’s also necessary that we do not mock or laugh at people who mourn. We must share their sorrow. We must relieve them of their burden; so, weep with them when they weep. It also means be there to help them through their seeming dark times. Don’t be quick to judge them or run them down, but show them love by identifying with them in their dark times.
18. Be of the same mind one toward another: Let there be unison in thoughts. Let your mind be the same to yourselves. Be good to yourselves. Don’t be double minded with the other person. It also means learn to trust one another. Let your mind be plain.
19. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate: it’s good to have taste for quality things but we must not be high-minded. To be high-minded means to be proud, seeking things that are too high to attain. Many just like to speak highly of themselves so as to create for themselves a class. But not so, always bring yourself down to relate with people who are not even in your class. In fact show yourself to be in a low class rather than vaunt yourself as being in the high class. Simply say, don’t be class conscious.
20. Be not wise in your own conceits: one of the undoing of man is that he can assume himself to be wise. The ways of man are always good in his own site, but they usually lead to destruction. Therefore, be not wise in yourself. Always consider matters from many angles before reaching a conclusion. In the midst of many counselors, a purpose is established.
21. Recompense to no man evil for evil: do not pay any man evil even if they have done you evil. Never pay evil with evil, rather be good to them who are evil to you. Atleast pray for them.
22. Provide things honest in the sight of all men: this simply means let everyone see you as honest. Let everyone know that you are honest. Relate with everyone around you with all honesty. Show yourself honest in the public and in the private such that everybody can vouch for you as an honest person.
23. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men: The condition ‘if it be possible’ shows what we need to do to live at peace with all men. Many believe that it’s difficult to live at peace with ALL men, but I refuse to believe that. Scripture says, to all that believes, NOTHING shall be IMPOSSIBLE, so, our believe system will show us whether we can live at peace with all or not. The instruction is, live peaceably with all men no matter how annoying and frustrating they may seem.
24. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves: Don’t always seek revenge. Forgiveness is important to our living rightly. We must not seek retribution for what others might have done to us. Like Jesus on the cross, He prayed for those who beat Him, spit on Him and even nailed Him to the cross in a humiliating manner. Let go and let god.
25. But rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord: Let God be the one to avenge all wrong doings. If you respond back in anger, then you give God no chance to fight on your behalf, therefore, give place to God to fight on your behalf.
26. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head: if your enemy is hungry, feed him. Don’t hold back good from your enemy just because he is your enemy. Dispense good to them as they need it. If they seek comfort, comfort them. Provide for your enemies whatsoever they lack because in so doing, you’ll be sealing your victory and they will be sealed in failure.
27. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good: and lastly, don’t let the evil things of life overpower you. Don’t be too quick to surrender to or accept the evil ways of men, rather, let your good life overcome all the evil nature of men. Don’t become evil because everyone around you are evil, rather be consistent with the good life until all becomes good just as you are.
Be instructed, follow these instructions carefully. It is the foundation upon which all successful relationships are built. God bless you.
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